Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kanda Poha ~ Savory Snack made with Beaten Rice Flakes ~ Aval Upma

Kanda poha is a classic snack from Maharashtra ( a state  in the western region of India). Kanda = onion and poha = beaten rice flakes in Marathi language. This classic is a favorite of mine and I am surprised that dish has managed to elude this space for so long. The only explanation I can think of is that I usually make this for weekend breakfast and weekends are also the time when I usually do not take pictures for the blog especially around breakfast time :)

Like any other dish, poha too has a lot of regional variations. My sister in law lives in Pune and tells me that people in that region add some roasted peanuts along with grated coconut to their poha. I have tried a lot of variations of poha including the ones I mentioned above and even one version of poha topped with sev and I have to admit that I have yet to find one that I don't like :) Every variation of poha tastes delicious in its own way :) If you are planning poha for your weekend breakfast or even for a quick evening snack, give this version a try and enjoy this easy tasty snack :)  

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Kanda poha
3 cups medium thick beaten rice flakes/ poha/ aval 
1 large red onion cut fine ( pyaaz/ vengayam)
2 Tbsp oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds ( rai/ kadagu)
3/4 tsp cumin seeds ( jeera/ jeeragam)
3 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut fine ( or to taste) ( hari mirch/ pachai molagai)
10 - 15 small curry leaves or 8 to 10 large ones torn into small pieces ( kadipatha/ karvapillai )
1/4 tsp turmeric powder ( haldi/ manjal podi) 
Salt to taste ( namak / uppu)
1 tsp sugar (shakkar/ sakkarai )
3 to 4 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro ( coriander leaves/ hara dhania/ kothamalli)

Optional garnish
2 to 3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut ( or frozen thawed to room temperature) (nariyal/ thengai poo)
1 to 2 Tbsp roasted peanuts (mungphali/ kadalai )

Serve with lemon wedges (nimbu/ elimbicham pazham) ( optional)

Place beaten rice flakes/ poha in a colander or strainer and rinse under cold water for a few seconds. Allow to drain completely for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat oil  on medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds, when the seeds begin to splutter add cumin seeds. When the cumin begins to sizzle, add green chilies and curry leaves and stir a couple of times.

 Add onions and sauté until onions turn translucent.  Add turmeric powder and stir once or twice. 

Add rinsed and drained beaten rice flakes/ poha and mix well. Add salt to taste, sugar and mix again. 
Close with a lid, lower heat to low to medium low heat, cook rice flakes/ poha for a minute or two until the poha heats through and the flavors mingle.Garnish with cilantro/ coriander leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges.

You can also add grated coconut and/ or roasted peanuts for garnish for this poha.  

The lemon wedges are optional, If you like a little lemony taste in your poha, you can sprinkle a few drops just before serving or on your plate.I like it both ways, sometimes with a little lemon juice and sometimes without, depending on my mood that day :)

Serves approx 2 to 3

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